Alternatives to beer machines

Discussion about the making of non-distilled alcoholic drinks
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DorsetScott
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by DorsetScott »

I've got about 150 bottles total and a couple of 5 litre mini kegs at the moment. Bottled 19 litred of a Speckled Hen clone last night.
My brewing goes in peaks and troughs, probably brewed on average once every couple of weeks since Feb, won't brew again until the supplies are a lot lower (I'm nearly out of bottles now and still have the cascade recipe from here to bottle in a week or 2)

I use a 35 litre Brewzilla, it's one of the AIO systems. Tend to end up with an average of 20 litres from a batch which suits me.

Space is always my issue though, all my brewing/stilling stuff including active ferments and the finished product is kept in a 4x8 brick outbuilding, so everything is a juggling act.
I'm not under the affluence of incahol, thinkle only peep I am. Its just the drunker I sit here the longer I get.

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Mash
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Mash »

I might have misread that.
20l BM. 12 crates 144 bottles
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Easydrinker
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Easydrinker »

Mash wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 7:33 am
There is a lot of unnecessary maths about volumes / boil* evaporation imo.

I do 23 litre batches in wide mouth wine fermenters. Its 32 ish litres to start with. The grain absorbs some, the boil loses some.

I top up** the fermenter to 23l before pitching 10g and aeration. This will make 40 glass beer bottles. Beers finish primary in 2-4 days but should stand a bit longer. This speed is because of the high nutrient low sugar environment.

It then needs racking and chilling for a few days in a fridge. This is the Cold break.

Dose the bottles, and then warm up again to condition.


Notes...

* let it boil for 10 - 15m before adding any hops. The hot break is a protein event that produces 'snot'in the wort - you cannot miss it. Only AFTER this add hops. This one single thing will prevent a lot of boil overs and improve your hop flavours.

*I can drink my tap water, so why do I need to boil all of it before ferment... In the beer world I am a heretic.
I read this post several times before this response.
Not in the mood for an arguement, and not really disagreeing with what you stated, very much!
I do a big boil to concentrate the mash, to get a higher starting gravity mash/wash, simples.
And yes, agreeing, my hops start going in after 30 minutes.
And in the beer world, I would possibly be the the bigger heretic....
Any "shite" that does not want to drop out of suspension when I cool my brew before ferment, can stay there.
It does not seem to be there at bottling time.
Or in the finished bottles.
Makes me happy.
Cold break bolleoux, if you ask me; but I will concede that if you have "lagered" a beer in a fridge, then it may need more chilly attention. :) :)
There are more ways than one to skin a coconut. ( The rabbit is on holiday!)
Drink your beers with a warm heart and a cool conscience. :)


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Mash
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Mash »

There is some bolleoux in there, caused by editing.

The "cold break" is at the chilling of the wort point. When you crash the temp from boiling to 20c ish.

The chill in the fridge is to settle it and clear it.

Hope that clears it up (see what I did there 😉)
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Mash »

I do a big boil to concentrate the mash, to get a higher starting gravity mash/wash, simples.
Could you use less water (liquor) to start with? Does the klarstein have a minimum fill?
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Easydrinker »

Mash wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 7:13 am
I do a big boil to concentrate the mash, to get a higher starting gravity mash/wash, simples.
Could you use less water (liquor) to start with? Does the klarstein have a minimum fill?
The klarstein needs around 8 litres of liquid to tickle the bottom of the malt.

My stout recipe has 7.6 Kg of grain. This demands a certain amount of "wetting out."
I start with 22 litres of water.
I also use a version of Parti-gyle brewing, then re-combining for the boil, to screw all that I can from the malt, (except the chocolate one, trying to leave out the bitterness!)
With the addition of two litres of water used to stew 500g of dates, and half a litre of blackcurrant juice, I bottle 29-30 litres at around 7%.
It's a little more work, but so very worth it. :)

I Know that you have been AG beer for a while longer than me, I have read the beer forums and noticed you there; but I can catch up real quick.
I know what common wisdom is, but as always, I read between the lines, make my own choices and mistakes!

Shout up if you want to test my wares, I'll cheerfully mail you some, I think it the bees knees


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Easydrinker
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Easydrinker »

Mash wrote:
Thu May 28, 2020 7:07 am
There is some bolleoux in there, caused by editing.

The "cold break" is at the chilling of the wort point. When you crash the temp from boiling to 20c ish.

The chill in the fridge is to settle it and clear it.

Hope that clears it up (see what I did there 😉)
I was not intending to diss your "Cold crashing"-'The chill in the fridge' part.
I was just not very eloquent last night.
I don't cold crash, and I don't want new brewers to think a brew fridge is a must have, (Well , maybe for a lager!)
It may help clear your brew, but try without first?
If you start making beer and enjoy it, work from there, add kit as you want or need it. :)

Robert.
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Mash
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Mash »

I know what common wisdom is, but as always, I read between the lines, make my own choices and mistakes!
I am with you there. 100% agree. I like to question and I like to go my own way - and screw it up, all on my own :D For me, I think being a multi dimensional brewer brings knowledge from different worlds, which has previously been secular.

Regards the cold crashing - no offence taken. You did make me realise that editing had made it read wrong. And yes indeed, a brewer does not need a chiller fridge, or a fermentation fridge. For thousands of years people have been making copious quantities of beer without most of the modern gadgets we see hawked on the Internet.

Don't get me wrong, I have my fair share of stainless but there is a time and a place.
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myles
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by myles »

Something like this. :lol:
beer vat - outlander.png

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Mash
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Mash »

Not sure if that is a fermenter or a hot tub?
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myles
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by myles »

Scene from the movie "Outlander". Ladies are dipping out jugs of brew to serve to everyone.

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Easydrinker
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

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That's my kind of party! :lol:

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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Mash »

Gazza.. Was this filmed at your place?
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by myles »

Bottled up a brew of Belgian Dubble D (Geterbrewed) the other day.

It is very dark - more so than I expected. And my yield was low - oops.
Trouble is that they will not tell you what is in the grain mix :roll:

I have two more batches of grain for this - I may add some more Pilsner malt to try and lighten it a bit.

I really do prefer the strong Belgian gold ales - but this was an experimental trial of the new beer equipment!!!

I now have a 50 litre, 3 kW, keggle to boil in. :lol: So I can brew a bigger batch. :D

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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Easydrinker »

I have failed at some beers that I tried to emulate/clone:
Some were drinkable, if not the beer that I was chasing.
A few batches have proved undrinkable, but now pay their way in slug traps.
I have a couple of Belgian clones and a stout that seem dependable.
Overall I am very hapy with the last year/ My first year of AG brewing.
And I favour GEB as a supplier, as I know the malts that I want to buy, and they seem prettty good at supplying.

Robert.
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"Everyone's happy. Everyone's smiling. No-One here is sad anymore" :D

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Mash
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Mash »

I don't use grain mixes. I can see the advantage, but imo it is only 1/2 the story if they don't come with a hop pack.
I have a stock of malts and hops. This allows me more control.
Brewersfriend is a good resource.
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Easydrinker »

Not sure of your point?
I didn't say that I bought grain mixes..?
My base malt is bought by the 25Kg sack, other malts by the 5 to 10Kg.
Since lockdown I buy hops by the Kg.
I hold at least 10 malts and 7 hop varieties currently.
Indubitably, another of our misunderstandings. ;)

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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Mash »

I thought I read that Myles was using grain mix.
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by myles »

You are correct Mash. Have been using pre-packed all grain ingredient kits from both GEB and The Malt Miller.
They contain everything needed except water.

The GEB ones do not list what grain is included, but the ones from TMM do.

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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Easydrinker »

OK, My bad! :oops:

Robert.
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Mash
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Mash »

myles wrote:
Mon Jun 08, 2020 9:33 pm
You are correct Mash. Have been using pre-packed all grain ingredient kits from both GEB and The Malt Miller.
They contain everything needed except water.

The GEB ones do not list what grain is included, but the ones from TMM do.
Hops too eh! Perhaps I am behind the times!
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Mash
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Mash »

I get the convenience angle. I get that they are good for a "first go"
But the prices are .... well .... erm .... I can buy a sack of malt for less.
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myles
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by myles »

Mash wrote:
Tue Jun 09, 2020 8:41 am
I get the convenience angle. I get that they are good for a "first go"
But the prices are .... well .... erm .... I can buy a sack of malt for less.
Agreed. I see these "all grain ingredient kits" as just a trial. They are all based on a boil volume of less than 28 litres, so will fit easily in my 33 litre 3 kw kettle.
Once I have found a flavour/style that I enjoy - I will then scale up to a 45 litre boil volume in my 50 litre keggle.

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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by Easydrinker »

Cue Mr. Punch:
"That's the way to do it!"!

Robert.
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myles
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Re: Alternatives to beer machines

Post by myles »

Wash/Wort boiler.
It is a reasonable use for a spare keg if you have one lying around.
3 kW 50 litre keggle.png

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